Thursday, May 28, 2009
MY CAKE DECORATING CHALLENGE - THE FINAL PART
At last the wedding/hantaran/gift cake is DONE! Phew! What a month.
Am I happy with the cake? Well yes and no. I'm happy because I finished it decently, it was quite far from ugly and it was presentable. No, because it could have been better, I could have put in more thought into the smaller details especially the filler flowers and as always I found that the sides were not straight enough after I had covered it with the fondant....it shows every time I wrap a ribbon around the cake and it would always be a tad wider at the base.
But on the whole I think I should pat myself on the back for the fact that I did not flounder and the mother of the groom, Kartini, my sis-in-law, was one very happy lady. That was all that mattered. And it survived the plane trip to Malacca on the eve of the wedding.
I had also made something which I have never made before....that is, a gum paste 'wave'. I had left that to the last minute because I thought it would be ridiculously easy. When I started fumbling and being unsatisfied with the results though I started becoming angry with myself for not trying it out earlier...like weeks before. However after several panicky attempts I managed to turn out a couple of decent ones...and believe me it is not as easy as it looks or as I had imagined it to be!
My flower making only improved drastically towards the end by which time I began to slack off a little and out of pure laziness I resorted to buying smaller sized white sugar roses for good measure just in case I needed some extra roses. I ended up using only one of them on the final cake. It is the white one in the picture below. It's beautiful but it looks a little greyish/bluish in the picture. It was also slightly thicker than the ones I had made. I also resorted to buying the 'fillers' which were actually 'buds' by which time I regretted not using little filler flowers.. They would have looked a whole lot better. (I was too stressed out towards the end to bother making them myself although they would have been the easiest thing to make). And since The Cake Connection at Jaya One sells a good range of sugar flowers and other cake decorating paraphernalia I see no reason why I shouldn't indulge a little.
Colour wise I am happy with the results although I found that the peach coloured roses faded after a few days. That puzzled me because it has never happened before...at least not that I remember.
I am happy though that I managed to rely on some last minute creative thinking to deal with the problem of fixing the ribbon to the cake and came up with what I thought was a pretty snazzy way of buttoning the ribbon up like so! What I did was to cut off the wire stems of the sugar 'buds' that I bought to about 1/2 an inch long and then use them as a pin to secure the ribbon to the cake. know .....it could have been arranged straighter. However, that little flash of inspiration saved me making a batch of royal icing.
I was also happy with the leaves I made, for their colour, which I had painted on with a mixture of lemon yellow and juniper green to get a lemony green and then dusted them with avocado green lustre powder and finally steamed them to seal the colour in. What I then achieved was a patina in a lovely greenish gold which made them look somewhat vintage. It was the first time I had done that and the results were amazing. I was very very pleased.
Then I just couldn't tear myself away from piping the 'brocade' design (copied from Colleen Collette's cake decorating book; my favourite cake design book)) which I love so much and which, I think, adds a certain elegance to the finished cake. I do this design every time no matter how hard I tell myself that I should try something new. But because it gives such a sophisticated finish each time it never fails to please me. But I suppose it is about time I finished off the cake differently next time. Next Time? Gasp!
My precious baby that I spied and kept looking fondly at in between gaps at the official marraige ceremony held in a totally charming, quaint and little 100 year old village masjid at Durian Tunggal in historical Malacca
I am a proud mother of the cake! :) My work is done and my life is back to normal. Normal as only normal could be.
These are the recipes for the sugar paste flowers, the fondant and the royal icing that I used for the cake decorations.